Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Heaton’

Catherine Keener, Charlie Heaton

“NO FUTURE” My rating: B- (Amazon Prime)

89 minutes | No MPAA rating

A young man has a love affair with his best friend’s mom.

Sounds like not-very-original porn.

Well, “No Future” isn’t porn, at least not in the conventional sense.  Some viewers may find its singleminded obsession with dead-end lives a form of pornography.

What we’ve got in Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot’s feature (they share both writing and directing credits) is a dour drama about a recovering addict struggling to stick to the straight and narrow and consumed with guilt about the bad stuff he did while under the influence.

Will (“Stranger Things’” Charlie Heaton, who possesses the saddest set of eyes this side of an abused Bassett Hound) lives in what appears to be a small Texas town.  He’s been going regularly to AA meetings, has an attentive and loving girlfriend (Rosa Salazar).

But he’s haunted by his past.  His widowed father (Jackie Earle Haley) can barely tolerate his son…seems that when Will’s mom was dying of cancer the kid pilfered her pain meds.

Will’s past comes back to haunt him in even more immediate fashion with the unexpected arrival of his childhood friend Chris (“Yellowstone’s” Jefferson White), fresh out of prison and falling back into his old ways.  Will was largely responsible for Chris becoming a junkie; now his old bud’s presence threatens Will’s recovery.  He tells Chris they can’t associate.

Chis resignedly accepts this fact, then goes home and overdoses. Accident or suicide? That’s the question that torments his mother Claire (Catherine Keener), who discovers the body.

Despite the 30 or more years separating them, Will and Claire find themselves in a secret physical relationship that oozes grief, guilt and loss. Maybe they somehow assume their affair will make them feel better.

Nope.  A shroud of desperation and doom envelops “No Future”…hell, the title alone should raise red flags.

To their credit, the filmmakers don’t dwell on the sexual nature of this pairing.  Their approach is utterly sincere, soberly non exploitative. 

And the performances — especially from Keener in full anti-glamour mode — are the stuff of heartbreak.

And yet “No Future” is so unrelentingly glum that it’s a struggle to sit through.  Ultimately the experience is so devoid of hope that some may leave the film feeling that recovery is an impossibility.

Surely that’s not the message we’re supposed to take away.

| Robert W. Butler

Read Full Post »